Last week, we celebrated my son’s 11th birthday.When my children were toddlers and preschoolers, I discovered the very real truth that it’s easier to celebrate one child’s birthday when all the children have something to do. And that was the catalyst for the Birthday Brother Tradition, whereupon the one with the unbirthday gets to open a present. (Or four.)
As my younger son opened a gift from my mom, he tore away the paper at the corner of the package to reveal a Lego project. And to my great horror, he said, “Yes! That’s what I was expecting!” Expecting? Hold up, cowboy. We’ve got some training to do.
We’ve all been there. We all have encountered struggles that felt bigger than us. And we all develop our own ways of managing emotional pain, shame, and regret. When faced with difficult circumstances, it is very normal to look for ways to cope.
Over the years, parents have verbalized their uncertainty with how best to assist their teen with effectively managing the ups and downs of life. There’s no simple response. Quite frankly, as a therapist who frequently works with adolescents, I get it. Being a teen today is tough. Teens face increasing expectations: managing multiple schedules, demanding academic loads, and competitive extracurricular activities. And above all, discovering who they are and how they fit in with their peer group and the larger world. All of which can and do cause internal pressure.
I can still picture my daughter Brittainy as a bright, talented sixth grader. She could figure out technology with lightening speed, dribble a ball like it was attached to her hand with a string, and never so much as flinch when a soccer ball came straight at her head. With her dark hair, she took after her dad. They spent hours watching the Women’s USA Soccer team and figuring out a way to build a guitar pedal instead of handing over hard-earned cash for it. I would try to chime in, but their conversation sometimes left me in the dark. Staying up with the newest point guard for the Houston Rockets just wasn’t in my wheelhouse.Read More
by Jon Acuff
A few weeks ago, I told my 10-year-old daughter that I would write her a story. I write for a living and I’m constantly reading about other authors who do that. On a whim, they write their kids a story and then voila, Harry Potter! I wasn’t going to write her the story because I thought it would turn into a book. I was going to write her a story because it’s fun. As soon as I told her that though, she said, “Sure you will. You’ll write two pages and then quit.” Body blow! No one hits as hard as your kids can hit.Read More
What is it about having small children that prompts strangers to offer unsolicited words of...Read More
If you want to show your kids they matter to you, then discover more about the things they care...Read More
Dr. Chinwe Williams, a licensed professional counselor, talks with Carlos Whittaker (author and speaker), and Kristen Ivy, about how to help kids cope with anxiety. Anxiety and stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life, especially when experiencing something new or transitioning to a new phase. The way you acknowledge and respond to a kid showing signs of anxiety is crucial in helping foster resilience as they grow up.Read More
Growing up, whenever I got in trouble, my punishment was being sent to my room. To an introverted kid, this was a delight. I just curled up with some good books and got lost in my imagination for a while. My oldest boy, Asher, shares this same affinity for quiet time. When sharing a room with his younger brother on vacations, his desperate plea is for Pace to just. Stop. Talking.Read More